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Customer Review

282 of 293 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fujitsu rules? Here's the "sleeper" among personal scanners., April 6, 2012
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This review is from: Canon imageFORMULA P-215 Scan-tini Personal Document Scanner (Office Product)
Those boxes of documents, love letters, photographs from both my wife's family and mine have weighed on my mind for almost 20 years. In fact, 15 years ago I ordered a Visioneer portable scanner with the intention of getting a load off my mind (and out of the attic). The device proved buggy, partially effective and extremely time-consuming, leading to my aborting the project and selling the scanner. But in the past several months, the regular television commercials for Neato portable scanners renewed my interest.

After reading some of the reviews for Neato portables, I questioned whether the technology had advanced far since my first Visioneer. But before abandoning the project a second time I investigated other possibilities, with the following findings: You can spend several dollars on one of many scan "apps," designed to work with the camera of an iPhone or iPod (good for a couple of documents, maybe). In the 50-100 dollar price range you might pick up a Magic Wand (make sure your hands are steady and your patience long) VuPoint Solutions Magic Wand Portable Scanner (PDS-ST410-VP). In the 150 dollar price range there's a decent Brother personal scanner (looks good for occasional use and when on the go) Brother DSMobile Scanner (DS-600) and a wireless device called the Doxie (be sure to read consumer reviews as well as the maker's claims) Doxie, the amazing scanner for documents.

Getting to devices for the more "serious" user, there are several reputable scanners in the two hundred dollar range, above all the Fujitsu Scansnap S1100 Fujitsu SCANSNAP S1100 CLR 600DPI USB Mobile Scanner (PA03610-B005) and the HP Scanjet 1000 HP Scanjet Professional 1000 Mobile Scanner (L2722A#BGJ). These deserve consideration from users who plan to move about and travel, taking the scanner with them on business trips, etc. But besides size and weight, be sure to to note the presence or absence of features like duplex printing, drivers, automatic feed.

Once you're at the $200 mark, it's difficult not to notice what's available for an extra fifty to eighty dollars. The two scanners in this range that stand out--combining the convenience of a portable, USB-powered scanner with the features of a professional office machine--are the Fujitsu S1300 (Fujitsu is clearly the champ with Amazon purchasers) Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300 Instant PDF Sheet-Fed Mobile Scanner (PA03603-B005) and the Canon P150 Canon imageFORMULA P-150 Portable Document Scanner(Scan-tini).

But wait! There's also the pictured machine, the Canon P215, the newest offering and one which, though slow to be discovered by consumers, is gradually rising in Amazon's sales rankings (it's moved ahead of the Canon P150 in just the past week). Admittedly, the feature differences between the two Canons are almost as small as the price difference. Size and performance of the two machines are practically identical. The P215 is .2" wider and 2 oz. heavier. The P215 comes with "Advanced Text Enhancement," "Character Emphasis," and several user-adjustable color settings not advertised with the P150; it has a "dedicated" card reader (which accepts thick, laminated cards as well as paper biz cards); its high-speed interface includes USB 3.0 along with USB 2.0; finally, Mac users can be assured that it's "Lion-ready." In short, the P215 seems slightly more "future-proofed" than the P150.

On to the showdown: Canon or Fujitsu? The Fujitsu S1300 accepts 10 sheets in auto-feed mode; the Canon P150 and P215 both accept up to 20 sheets ; the Canons have built-in Twain drivers for guaranteed out-of-the box plug-and-scan convenience; the Fujitsu does not. The Fujitsu includes an AC adapter; the Canons list it as an option. In sum, if I had any hesitation between the two brands, it was because of the Fujitsu's bundled OCR software program: the well-regarded ABBYY FineReader. But once I considered the two brands from a broader perspective, noting my satisfaction with my printer (Canon MP640) and camera (Canon SD780), the final decision became inevitable. ("PC Magazine," for one, seems to agree, rating it "best of breed.")
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Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 27, 2012 7:29:46 AM PDT
Jan L Kling says:
Even thou it may be less expensive to use all the other devices mentioned in your review, I wouldn't want to have to deal with all the extra equipment. Seem simpler to have one device in the Canon P-215 scanner with the capablity of Mac and Window use. Also like the portability of the Canon P-215 scanner.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 19, 2012 3:51:55 PM PDT
Ben V Hoff says:
This review mentions photos but without details. None of the other reviews mention them at all. I have the Scnsnap and really like it but not for photographs and Scansnap does not claim its scanner is good for that. I doubt that this one is good for that either.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 10, 2012 10:04:11 PM PDT
Ben, you're right on! I tried to scan some photos a while back at the highest available resolution and the results were pretty bad. Every single one had a stripe down the middle (from the feed-wheel possibly?). For photographs, flatbed is usually the best bet. This is definitely a document scanner, not a photo scanner.

Posted on Jan 12, 2013 10:36:50 PM PST
Pat says:
Dear Samuel and all others who have this Canon P-215 scanner:

I'm considering getting this scanner, based on the thorough recommendation of TheWireCutter article (

I plan on scanning everything in my filing cabinet: medical files, bank statements, newspaper clippings, invoices, receipts from the grocery.

I want to have the digital stuff uploaded to my Google Drive account and have easy word-searching.

If I put a bunch of supermarket/gas/store receipts into the tray, do I have to make sure that they go in perfectly straight? What happens if the receipts go in on a slight angle? Will OCR work?

Can this scanner easily upload to my Google Drive account?

Would you all still say that this is the best scanner for the price?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2013 10:22:39 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 17, 2013 10:35:45 AM PST
Samuel Chell says:
Sorry not to respond sooner. When I first saw your fairly exacting tests (which, I'll grant, could certainly be decisive about the Canon vs. Fujitsu), I had no good answer without trying each one. Unfortunately, I have yet to get to it--fighting with erratic computers, printers, hard drives, audio files (and wave editing), plus e-mail (over 5000 unread) has simply been devouring the time.

Ironically, that's part of the reason I purchased this scanner. I think the frequent TV ads promising a solution to the "crowded desk syndrome" are for Fujitsu printers. In any case, those ads first led me to look for the fastest, most efficient, user-friendly (and affordable) scanner I could find. In the meantime, I discovered that whether most of my saved documents were scanned to my computer or printed and saved to a folder in my filing cabinet, I rarely had the time and inclination to go back to them--simply reprinting the items was practically always easier and more convenient. The same is true these days even with paper instruction manuals--they're all available for quick reprinting on manufacturers' sites.

I still plan to submit the scanner to more exacting tests. As I recall from last summer, the Canon performed as I had hoped--saving some of my parents' memorabilia (there's much more in the attic) while discouraging me from doing the massive project I had originally planned. In the meantime, I've maxed out my computer's hard drive (500GB was simply way too small), and I've lost all patience with a 3TB external Seagate hard drive, which seems to slow down my computer to a frustrating crawl.

I relate the foregoing only as a bit of a warning to anyone who might expect that a scanner will lead to the immediate removal of boxes of materials, letters, etc. (some a hundred years old!)--however sophisticated, fast, reliable your particular machine. You will still need to devote hours of time (some of it to "fix" things--faded handwriting, for example.--that any scanner will miss on the first pass).

For the present, I'm satisfied with this Canon, though it's been several months since I've had occasion to use it. I've just ordered a new computer, with the largest internal storage possible plus 3.0 instead of the old 2.0 USB ports--and I plan to replace the Seagate with a smaller, faster (3.0 USB) WD drive (a brand that has served me well in the past). I realize all of this may be of little help in your own decision-making, but for the record I'll report back with some more specific answers to your very good questions once I've put them to the test.

Posted on Feb 21, 2013 9:07:32 PM PST
K. Tully says:

I have been researching these devices for the past few months and I have to say, I am extremely glad to have found your comprehensive, concise review! I know these reviews must take you time and I just wanted to make sure you know what a great help you've been to me. I am ready to go ahead with my purchase and I've decided on the P-215 due to your informative, balanced take. Thanks again for being such an awesome contributor to the Amazon community!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2013 12:00:44 PM PST
Samuel Chell says:
Thanks much for the encouragement. I hope the purchase works out for you. Unfortunately, I didn't have the opportunity to compare the two machines of primary interest head to head. And I'm somewhat biased toward Canon because of my good experiences with Canon cameras and printers. Best regards, Sam

Posted on Aug 16, 2013 10:29:14 AM PDT
P. B. Ghali says:
I believe the Canon P150 is only available for a Windows platform.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 16, 2013 2:15:00 PM PDT
Samuel Chell says:
For photos, I've had the best results from my Canon Multi-Function Printer (Pixma MP140). It's discontinued but I would expect similar results from a current Canon machine (costing less than $100).

Posted on Sep 16, 2013 8:03:15 PM PDT
Julie H says:
Your review, along with that of PC Mag have convinced me this is the way to go,!
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